On Thursday, September 5th, a trio of strange-looking blue men invaded the Durham Performing Arts Center and proceeded to deliver their unique type of communication to a thoroughly receptive group of Americans. Though it is suspected the group was was hired for the sole purpose of entertaining the Durham crowd, one wonders whether there was an ulterior, extraterrestrial motive for their visit to this North Carolina venue.
Ironically, the trio is simply called the Blue Man Group. It is this reviewer’s opinion that their communication was successful and that humans all over the world will continue to receive these strange beings into their theaters and halls where the blue invaders will deliver communiques via drumming techniques and telepathic signals designed to create laughter and wonder in both adults and children alike.
The three-man group is alien-like in appearance, their skin a royal blue that falls somewhere in between Duke Blue and Carolina Blue on the color spectrum. They are bald and lack ears and, apparently, voices, as well, yet they are able to communicate via an unspoken manner largely composed of body language and cocked heads. They appear willing to connect with the human race and unafraid of us; in fact, their curiosity leads them to venture into the larger group of humans who sit and watch the blue men as they perform drum solos and juggling routines better than most humans who make a living in that manner.
By using a variety of unusual objects, such as tubing, plumbing pipes, and large balls, these blue men endeavor to speak to their audience and to elicit both awe and appreciation for the sounds produced. At no point do they appear ready to take over our world or to kidnap any human beings for experimentation, though they do conduct studies of several humans chosen from the audience of North Carolinians gathered to watch the strange blue men. One was a woman who was brought on stage and coerced into sharing a Twinkie with the Blue Man Group; another was a young man chosen from the audience so that he could produce a painting of his body.
The blue men seemed inclined to impress upon the humans in the DPAC audience the need for face-to-face communication. In a segment in which the blue men played with giant-sized cell phone apps, they demonstrated the ridiculousness of some of the apps and the need for people to speak to each other rather than to be consumed with technology. Yet the technology used by the blue men induced some of the most awe-inspiring moments during their hour-and-a-half on DPAC‘s stage. At one point, the talented group of strange blue creatures produced gigantic fabric balls and used them as drums. Those balls lit up from some mysterious force within, changing colors and producing a dance beat that hypnotized the audience and brought it to its feet. When those balls floated into the theater, turning most audience members into children, it was clear that the aliens had wrought a power over the group that only the most skillful of entertainers could produce.
This reviewer has heard that the three blue men who currently inhabit DPAC are part of a larger group that splits into trios and performs in theaters and halls throughout the world, including places like Las Vegas, Boston, and Europe. According to reliable sources, the group arrived in 1987, founded by three blue creatures with the names of Chris Wink, Matt Goldman, and Phil Stanton. She suspects that the names of the creatures were changed from their original alien names to something more palatable for the American public so that the Blue Man Group could deliver a blend of the phantasmagorical to audiences everywhere. They do so in a comical and stunningly colorful manner, so that they can mesmerize human beings into sitting in seats for several hours at a time.
That idea has worked so well that the group has been able to compel others of their kind to learn the drumming and multimedia skills that have kept the Blue Man Group in front of enraptured human beings for more than 25 years. Recently, it was reported that the group invaded the African continent in 2013; and it is expected that before the next century is over, the strange blue creatures will have performed on every continent of the world.
This trio of talented, hilarious, and captivating aliens will remain at the Durham Performing Arts Center until September 8th. If there is a human being in the area who wishes to teach a family member or friend about the likelihood of an invasion of humanoids, this reviewer suggests a purchase of tickets to see the Blue Man Group before they move on to hypnotize another group of unsuspecting human beings.
SECOND OPINION: Sept. 6th Raleigh, NC News & Observer preview by Glenn McDonald: http://www.newsobserver.com/2013/09/05/3163564/five-things-to-know-about-blue.html; Sept. 4th Raleigh, NC BroadwayWorld.com Raleigh interview with Mike Brown, conducted by Larisa Mount: http://www.broadwayworld.com/raleigh/article/BWW-Interviews-BLUE-MAN-GROUPs-Mike-Brown-Talks-This-Weeks-Durham-Engagement-20130904and Aug. 22nd Durham, NC Herald-Sun review by Dawn Baumgartner Vaughan: http://www.heraldsun.com/lifestyles/entertainment/x2042200560/The-brotherhood-of-Blue-Man-Group (Note: You must register to read this article). (Note: To read Triangle Arts and Entertainment’s online version of the Aug. 25th Triangle Review preview by Robert W. McDowell, click http://triangleartsandentertainment.org/2013/08/blue-man-group-returns-for-six-sensational-multimedia-performances-at-dpac-on-sept-5-8/.)
The Durham Performing Arts Center presents BLUE MAN GROUP at 8 p.m. Sept. 7 and 1 and 6:30 p.m. Sept. 8 at 123 Vivian St., Durham, North Carolina 27701, in the American Tobacco District.
TICKETS: $42.75-$100.75 (including fees).
DPAC Box Office: 919-680-ARTS (2787), email@example.com, or http://www.dpacnc.com/events/how_to_buy_tickets.
Ticketmaster: 800-982-2787 or http://www.ticketmaster.com/venueartist/115558/1550860/.
GROUP RATES (10+ tickets): 919-281-0587, Groups@DPACnc.com, or http://www.dpacnc.com/events/group_services.
VIDEO PREVIEW: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PKNE9fJ7P9Y.
NEWS RELEASE: http://www.dpacnc.com/news/detail/blue-man-group-performance-added-by-popular-demand.
DPAC PARENTAL ADVISORY: “Most parents would find this program suitable for ages 5 and above. All guests require a ticket, regardless of age. No one under the age of 5 admitted into the theater, and children must be able to sit quietly in their own seat without disturbing other guests.”
Blue Man Group: http://www.blueman.com/ (official website), https://www.facebook.com/bluemangroup (Facebook page), https://twitter.com/bluemangroup (Twitter page), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Man_Group (Wikipedia), and http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1292489/ (Internet Movie Database).
Blue Man Group YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/bluemangroup (YouTube).
NETworks Presentations, LLC (producer): http://www.networksontour.com/ (official website).
Mike Brown (Blue Man): https://www.facebook.com/mikebrown108 (Facebook page).
Dawn Reno Langley is a Durham, NC-based author who writes novels, poetry, children’s books, and nonfiction books on many subjects, as well as theater reviews. She is also Dean of General Education and Developmental Studies at Piedmont Community College in Roxboro, where she oversees the theater program at the Kirby Cultural Arts Complex, and a member of the Person County Arts Council.
To read all of Dawn Langley’s Triangle Review reviews online at Triangle Arts and Entertainment, click http://triangleartsandentertainment.org/author/dawn-reno-langle/. To read more of her writings, click http://dawnrenolangley.blogspot.com/ and http://poetryandgardening.blogspot.com/.